People in New Zealand are worried about losing their homes and are nervous about their financial situations, a new study says.   

As the cost of living soars, people are struggling to make ends meet with one in six New Zealanders saying they’ve experienced homelessness. 

And 4% of New Zealanders also said they had to sleep rough in the past year.  

A survey from Orange Sky - a not-for-profit organisation that provides free mobile laundry and shower services to people experiencing homelessness - and market research company YouGov also found that 14% of the population say they have been unable to pay living costs such as rent and bills in the past year. 

And of the more than 1000 people surveyed, 54% said they were nervous about their financial security and 23% admitted they were scared about losing their homes due to financial struggles.

The research also found: 

  • 27% of New Zealanders struggle to make ends meet at least once a month
  • 44% of New Zealanders had to change their living circumstances in the past 12 months due to rising living costs with 12% admitting they have had to skip a meal due to a lack of funds
  • In the past year, 22% of New Zealanders took on a secondary income just to get by

Orange Sky operations manager Eddie Uini said the results from this survey highlight an ever-growing need to support and make genuine connections with people experiencing homelessness.

Since working with Orange Sky, Uini said he had seen friends - the people who use the organisation’s services - in tough situations. 

“I have really noticed how people experiencing homelessness are often seeking genuine connection,” Uini said.

“While clean clothes, showers and blankets make a massive difference, it’s the hours of non-judgemental conversation between Orange Sky volunteers and the friends using our services that I see having the greatest impact.”

Top image: Pedestrians walk past a homeless person rough sleeping on High Street in central Auckland (Source: Getty)

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